Professor Harold Bloom made his first appearance in the Book Nook in 1998 when he came on the show to talk about his book "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human." Bear in mind that 20 years ago we were in the fledgling days of the internet as a form of mass communication. WYSO had only recently gone on-line with a web-site and those of us who were on the radio station staff at that time had not even had e-mail addresses for very long. Those were different times. During the early days of the commercial internet bandwidth, storage, and memory were still daunting and often expensive issues. You could listen to WYSO by streaming it on the internet but you might recall that if you did stream the station during those days your access would end after an hour and you would lose the stream and have to log on again to restore it. You had gotten bumped. Our precious bandwidth had to be preserved!
Podcasts were still in the future. After that first interview with Harold Bloom we got many calls from listeners who had missed it. After hearing about what they had missed they wondered how they might be able to listen to it? Well, at that point we decided to load a copy of the interview on our website at the cost of some precious bandwidth and that became our beta pre-podcast Book Nook interview. A few years later, in 2001, I interviewed Doctor Bloom again for his book "Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages." At the time of that second broadcast Harold had recently marked his 50th year on the faculty at Yale. He was 71 years old. Harold Bloom has had a long career as a teacher, writer, and literary critic. He's no stranger to controversy. At the time we recorded this second interview he was taking some heat for his critique of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Harold was not a fan of the series. He said he didn't really want to talk about that but he spent the first ten minutes of our conversation doing just that!
During this interview I asked him about his legacy and how he wished to be remembered. He got very quiet, then he responded with a poem. Harold recited several poems from memory during this interview. It was a thing of beauty to hear his recitations that day. And all these years later Harold Bloom is still with us. He's still writing books. He's still at Yale.
I hope you enjoy this second interview with Professor Bloom.
The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio: the Greene County Public Library, Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.